Lord Byron's Poems

Early Poems: A Fragment


When, to their airy hall, my Fathers' voice

Shall call my spirit, joyful in their choice;

When, pois'd upon the gale, my form shall ride,

Or, dark in mist, descend the mountain's side;

Oh! may my shade behold no sculptur'd urns,

To mark the spot where earth to earth returns!

No lengthen'd scroll, no praise-encumber'd stone; i

My 'epitaph' shall be my name alone: 2

If 'that' with honour fail to crown my clay, ii

Oh! may no other fame my deeds repay!

'That', only 'that', shall single out the spot;

By that remember'd, or with that forgot. iii


Footnote 1: There is no heading in the Quarto.

Footnote 2: In his will, drawn up in 1811, Byron gave directions that "no inscription, save his name and age, should be written on his tomb." June, 1819, he wrote to Murray: "Some of the epitaphs at the Certosa cemetery, at Ferrara, pleased me more than the more splendid monuments at Bologna; for instance, 'Martini Luigi Implora pace.' Can anything be more full of pathos? I hope whoever may survive me will see those two words, and no more, put over me." - 'Life', pp. 131, 398.

Footnote: i.

'No lengthen'd scroll of virtue and renown.'

. P. on V. Occ.

Footnote: ii.

'If that with honour fails,'

Footnote: iii.

'But that remember'd, or fore'er forgot'.

. 'P. on V. Occasions'.